Psytrance, also known as psychedelic trance, is a genre of electronic dance music that has its roots in the rave culture of the late 20th century. Originating in Goa, India, the genre has spread around the world and has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. It is characterized by its fast tempo, repetitive beats, and use of psychedelic elements such as distorted and delayed vocals.
British psytrance artists have played a significant role in the development and evolution of the genre, with many of them gaining international recognition for their unique and innovative styles. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most prominent British psytrance artists and their impact on the genre. From pioneers of the scene to rising stars, these artists have all contributed to shaping the sound of psytrance and pushing the boundaries of the genre.
List of the Key British Psytrance Artists
Today, the UK is considered a significant hub for psytrance music and culture, and continues to play a major role in shaping the global psytrance scene.
Here is the list of the top British Psytrance actors that attract people from all over the world :
- Martin Freeland – The Pioneering British Psytrance DJ and Producer
- Olli Wisdom – The Genre-Blending British Psytrance Artist And Innovator
- Doof – London Based Psytrance Actor Behind Psytrance Album ‘Let’s Turn On’
- Raja Ram – One of Original Member of Shpongle, 1200 Micrograms, And The Infinity Project
- Benji Vaughan – Leading British Psytrance Actor with driving basslines, and a strong sense of atmosphere
- Simon Posford – DJ and Sound Engineer with Specialization in Psytrance music
- Paul Oakenfold – Influential British Psytrance Pioneer And Godfather Of The Genre
- Mark Allen – One of Pioneer British Psytrance Actors in Progressive and Tech Trance
- John Fleming – British Psytrance DJ, Record Producer And Radio Presenter
A Closer Look Into the Top British Psytrance Artists
Martin Freeland – The Pioneering British Psytrance DJ and Producer
Martin John Freeland is one of the most prominent and pioneer British psytrance actors, DJ and record producer who made waves in the Goa trance and techno genres of psytrance. He is widely known in the British Psytrance scene through his pseudonym, ‘Man with No Name’ or ‘M.W.N.N’ and also as Positiv Noize – though this pseudonym was used only in the very early days of his career.
Starting his musical career in 1985 on the British psytrance scene, Freeland produced Pisces and Perfectly Ordinary People – two tracks that helped him establish himself as an important figure in not just the British Psytrance community, but amongst worldwide DJs and producers looking to blend different styles of music together. Freeland achieved mainstream success when his single ‘Floor Essence’ was ranked 12th best single of 1995 by Muzik magazine.
From 1995 to 1998, Freeland worked with various labels such as Dragonfly Records, Perfecto Records, Hooj, Atomic Records, and TIP Records to produce some of the most iconic British psytrance music. One of his last albums ‘Interstate Highway’ was released in 2003 and has since become a staple of British psychedelic trance. Though Freeland still continues to tour the globe as Man With No Name.
For anyone looking for some classic British psychedelic trance, Martin Freeland’s music is definitely worth checking out. His long-time career and commitment to British psytrance music make him one of the most influential British psytrance actors in the industry, and his music will surely be remembered for many years to come.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuwSAt67PV0&ab_channel=Horvbali
Olli Wisdom- The Genre-Blending British Psytrance Artist And Innovator
If you are a fan of psytrance music then you know that Olli Wisdom is one of the foremost figures in the genre. He produced and performed for over two decades with famous albums such as “Mind Expansions” and “Omni Tribe” to his name.
Something that did allow him to stand out among other British psytrance artists working today was his work of fusing conventional psychedelic elements with modern electronic music.
He started out his music trek with a gothic band ‘Specimen’. After the band split, Olli Wisdom traveled to Thailand and then Goa and made major contributions to the global psytrance scene. Olli did spend a lot of time DJing in parties and appearing in festivals and events in different countries around the globe including Japan , USA, and Switzerland. Post 1990s, he recorded under the pseudonym Space Tribe.
In live performances, Olli Wisdom always manages to capture the energy and enthusiasm of his audience. His infectious sound and signature style makes it hard not to be completely taken away by his music. Olli Wisdom also came up with some amazing side projects warmly received among the public such as ‘ Space Tribe Clothing’ and ‘Space Tribe Sound System’.
Overall, it’s easy to see why Olli Wisdom is considered one of the best psytrance actors in the UK today. His solid production skills, creative approach, and passion for music make him an absolute must-see artist if you’re looking for some quality trance entertainment.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knvng5JbDvU&ab_channel=SpaceTribe
Doof – London Based Psytrance Actor Behind Psytrance Album ‘Let’s Turn On’
Nicholas Barber is a Londan based British Psytrance actor who is more commonly recognized by his stage name, Doof. He made his debut with a wonderful track named ‘Disposable Hymns to the Infinite’ in 1993.
During these early years, Doof also met and got the opportunity to work with other fine British Psytrance actors and producers such as Simon Posform and Raja Ram. Doof’s one of the first psytrance albums ‘Let’s Turn On’ was also released on Raja Ram’s dedicated trance label ‘TIP Records’.
He has been making waves in the scene with his unique blend of psychedelic soundscapes and entrancing beats. Doof has taken the psytrance scene by storm, captivating audiences around the world with his live performances. His music has been praised by many industry professionals, including some of the biggest names in the genre.
From underground clubs to festival main stages, Doof continues to spread his message of love, peace and unity wherever he performs. If you’re looking for something a little different than the usual EDM experience, definitely check out Doof’s music – it’s sure to be an unforgettable journey.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSIEcqiKoPs&ab_channel=TwistedMusicUK
Raja Ram – One of Original Member of Shpongle, 1200 Micrograms, And The Infinity Project
A true trailblazer in the psychedelic trance genre, Raja Ram is a flautist and composer who has been an extraordinary force in shaping its unique sound since the early 90s.
His creative approach to music-making combines world influences with traditional instruments for a truly distinctive style that comes alive during his imaginative live performances featuring intricate visuals, special effects and elaborate costumes.
‘The Beautiful Garden’, ‘Brain Bokka’, and ‘Divine Moments of Truth’ are some of his must listen psytrance music contributions.
With solo releases as well as collaborations with Simon Posford, GMS, and even his own son Ananda – all members of popular groups such Shpongle or The Infinity Project – underlying it’s clear why he remains one of most celebrated British Psytrance artists today.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNzXSflETP0&ab_channel=TipWorldRecords
Benji Vaughan – Leading British Psytrance Actor with driving basslines, and a strong sense of atmosphere
Benji Vaughan, also known as Prometheus, is a British Psytrance actor and DJ. His unique sound, characterized by intricate melodies, driving basslines, and a strong sense of atmosphere, has earned him a dedicated following and a reputation as one of the most exciting acts in the genre. He is also one of the few British Psytrance actors who also happen to be tech entrepreneurs.
One of the notable aspects of Benji Vaughan’s music is his ability to create a sense of atmosphere and emotion in his tracks, which sets him apart from many other psytrance producers. He often incorporates elements of other genres, such as ambient and downtempo, into his work, giving it a unique and diverse sound.
Vaughan’s discography is extensive and varied, with multiple full-length albums and EPs released on respected labels such as Nano Records and Iboga Records. His debut album, “RObot-o-Chain” (2004) containing two down tempo tracks was a breakthrough success and solidified his place as a leading figure in the British Psytrance scene. He has since released several more albums, such as “Corridors of Mirror” (2007) and “Spike” (2010), each of which showcases his growth as a musician and his ability to push the boundaries of the genre.
In addition to his solo work, Vaughan is also a member of the collaborative project, Younger Brother, alongside fellow producer and DJ, Simon Posford. They have released several albums together, and are known for their powerful live performances. Some of the notable albums by Younger Brother, one of the marvelous British Psytrance acts, include ‘The Last Days of Gravity’ (2007) and ‘Vaccine’ (2011). Also, in 2013, psytrance album ‘ Even Tundra’ also got released on Spotify. The latest release by Benji Vaughan came in 2022 by the name ‘Opera Girl’ which is also available on Spotify.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOHU4co1iYo&ab_channel=TwistedMusicUK
Simon Posford – DJ and Sound Engineer with Specialization in Psytrance music
Simon Posford, also known as Hallucinogen, is a legendary producer of British psytrance music. He has been an influential force in the UK psytrance scene since the early 1990s, crafting unique sounds and captivating performances that have inspired generations of fans.
From entrancing live shows to distinct studio albums, Posford has created a library of psychedelic soundscapes that push the boundaries of electronic music. Among his notable studio albums comes “Twisted”, and “In Dub”. His innovative approach to composition and production, which often involves layering multiple tracks and experimenting with samples from various genres, has made him one of the foremost figures in the trance world.
The Psytrance artist from the UK also has founded a label “Twisted Records” named after his first ever studio album. In addition to his own work, Posford also joined other profound British Psytrance artists on the scene including the likes of Benji Vaughan ( Young Brothers) and Raja Ram ( Shpongle). Simon also collaborates with Raja Ram, Graham Wood, and Anjee Sain on famous Goa band “ The Infinity Project”.
Simon Posford’s contributions to psytrance culture go far beyond just his music productions; he is widely credited for bringing more mainstream attention to the underground movement. As such, he is regarded as a pioneering figure among generations of trance fans all around the globe.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjuZzszMSpk&ab_channel=MrLemilica2
Paul Oakenfold – Influential British Psytrance Pioneer And Godfather Of The Genre
Paul Oakenfold is a British DJ, record producer, and actor who has been active in the music industry since the 1980s. He is considered a pioneer of the trance music genre and has had a significant impact on the development of electronic dance music.
One of Oakenfold’s major early works as a DJ and producer was his role in the development of the British acid house scene in the late 1980s. He was a resident DJ at the legendary nightclub, The Hacienda in Manchester, and helped to popularize the genre in the UK.
In the 1990s, Oakenfold began producing and remixing tracks for a wide variety of artists, including U2, Madonna, and The Happy Mondays. He also released a number of successful singles and albums under his own name, including “Go Wild Rhythm Trax” and “Tranceport”.
In 1999, Oakenfold released his most successful album to date, “Bunkka”. The album featured collaborations with a number of high-profile artists, including Nelly Furtado and Tricky, and reached the top 40 on the UK Albums Chart.
In addition to his work as a DJ and producer, Oakenfold has also had a successful career as a remixer, working on tracks for a wide range of artists including Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and The Beatles. He also has done a lot of soundtracks for movies such as Swordfish and The Bourne Identity.
Oakenfold continues to tour and perform around the world, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in electronic dance music.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7iNq22DYo0&ab_channel=DifferentVideo
Mark Allen – One of Pioneer British Psytrance Actors in Progressive and Tech Trance
Mark Allen is a highly respected and accomplished British psychedelic trance DJ and record producer who got into psytrance music in 1991. He started DJing and organizing parties in London clubs such as “Return to the Source”. He has a unique style that combines elements of psychedelic trance, progressive and tech-trance, which creates an intense and powerful sound.
His sets are always high-energy and well-crafted, featuring a mix of classic and cutting-edge tracks. Mark is also known for his deep understanding of the genre and his ability to read the crowd and adapt his set to suit the audience.
“Inventive Steps” ( 1999), “Explorations” ( 2000) and “Most Wanted Present” (2002) are among the prominent psytrance creations by Mark Allen. He also collaborated with Tim Healey in band ‘Quirk’ where they went on to create marvelous works including “Dance with the Devil E.P.” ( 1997) and “ The Sound” ( 2002).
He has played at some of the biggest festivals and clubs around the world, and has built a loyal fanbase who appreciate his passion and dedication to music. Overall, Mark Allen is a highly talented and respected figure in the British psychedelic trance scene, and his sets are always a highlight for anyone lucky enough to catch them.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gy4tfHYsUU&ab_channel=anti83
John Fleming – British Psytrance DJ, Record Producer And Radio Presenter
John Fleming a.k.a John 00 Fleming is a British DJ, record producer and radio presenter, who is known for his work in the psytrance genre of electronic dance music. Ministry of Sound, Godskitchen, and Cream are some of the clubs where John Fleming also performed.
Startin in 1987, Fleming has released multiple albums and singles under multiple names such as John 00 Fleming, J00F, J00F Editions, and Digital Blonde, and has remixed and collaborated with other well-known psytrance artists. “Predator”, “Healing”, “ Ashoka” and “Chemical Equilibrium” are some of the most prominent works of John Fleming.
In 1998, Fleming formed JOOF label which facilitated the release of a large number of releases such as Netherworld 2005 by LSG and Parallel Lines by Airwave on the British Psytrance scene. For those interested, “We Have No Reference of Time” was the first release of the label which was a collaborative work of Fleming himself and Russell FloorPlay.
He has also performed at major psytrance festivals and events around the world, such as Glastonbury, Burning Man, and Boom Festival. In addition to his music career, Fleming also hosts his own radio show “JOOF Radio” which is broadcasted on Digitally Imported every month.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKX9wlaZHtE&ab_channel=John%2700%27Fleming-Topic
Impact of British psytrance artists on the genre
British psytrance has been a huge influence on the global psytrance scene and its evolution. From its origins in the UK scene to its current status as a major genre of electronic music, British psytrance artists have shaped and molded it over the years.
In this section, we’ll take a look at how they have impacted the genre, from developing new subgenres to collaborating with other genres.
Influence on Global Psytrance Scene
British psytrance artists have had an undeniable influence on the global psytrance scene. This is largely due to their unique approach to production and composition that has led to some truly memorable tracks. Some of the most iconic tracks of the genre were produced by British psytrance acts such as Hallucinogen, Eat Static, The Infinity Project, Shpongle Astral Projection, Juno Reactor and Younger Brother.
These British psytrance acts are credited with helping shape and define the sound of modern psytrance music and introducing elements from other genres such as jazz, funk, hip-hop, drum & bass and even classical music into their productions.
Development of New Subgenres Within Psytrance
The influence of British psytrance artists can also be seen in the development of new subgenres within the genre such as darkpsy, tech-psy and full-on. These styles were pioneered by British producers such as Hallucinogen and Astral Projection who blended elements from different genres in order to create something entirely fresh and exciting.
As a result, these styles have become increasingly popular with fans of both classic trance music as well as those looking for something more experimental or psychedelic.
Collaborations & Cross-Pollination With Other Genres
British psytrance artists have also been responsible for creating collaborations between different genres. By working with producers from other styles such as drum & bass or dubstep they have been able to create unique hybrid tracks that have gained massive popularity among fans of both genres alike.
Additionally, several British acts such as Juno Reactor have managed to successfully bridge the gap between classical music and trance by incorporating elements from symphonic compositions into their productions.
It’s clear that British psytrance artists have had a huge impact on not only trance music but also on electronic music more broadly speaking. From pioneering new sounds to collaborating with other genres they have helped shape what we now know as modern electronic music culture today. Whether you are a fan of classic psychedelic trance or something more experimental you can be sure that there is something for everyone when it comes to British psytrance.
The future of psytrance scene in the UK
It is difficult to predict the exact future of the psytrance scene in the UK, as it can be influenced by a variety of factors such as cultural trends, technological advancements, and government policies. However, it is likely that the scene will continue to evolve and grow in popularity as it has in recent years.
This analysis is based on the prominence of British Psytrance musicians. For context, Nick Sentience, a British psytrance DJ, has achieved a ranking in the top 100 DJs, being one of the youngest to do so.
The use of technology in live performances, such as virtual and augmented reality, could become more prevalent, and the emergence of new subgenres could also shape the scene.
Additionally, the increasing interest in sustainable and environmentally-conscious events could lead to more eco-friendly psytrance festivals and events. Overall, while it is hard to predict the future, it’s safe to say that the psytrance scene in the UK will continue to evolve and adapt with the times.
To Sum Up:
Over the past few decades, psytrance has become a popular genre of electronic music. The psytrance sound is often characterized by fast tempos, mind-altering melodies, and psychedelic elements.
Some of the most prominent British psytrance artists include Martin Freeland, Simon Posford, Paul Oakenfold, Mark Allen,and John Fleming. This guide has shared a thorough review of each of the actors with you.
These artists have helped to shape the sound of psytrance and have had a huge impact on the genre as a whole. If you’re looking to get into psytrance, be sure to check out some of these artists’ music. You won’t be disappointed.